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Apology Not Accepted

"I'm sorry," Aric said, pulling me into the shadows, cupping her face in his hands as he looked at the cheek he'd struck. "I didn't have a choice.

"You know who I am, you know the position I hold," he continued, pushing hair out of his way. "You can't talk to me like that in front of people."

Liberty didn't speak, fighting back tears.

"Do you understand?" he hissed, releasing her face to shake her by the shoulders.

"Yes," she breathed, fear radiating from her whole being.

"Fine," Aric sighed, gripping her arm, pulling her to his car.

Opening the door, he waited impatiently for her to get in. Slamming it once she was, Aric leaned against it, trying to gain control of his emotions.

He knew there hadn't been a choice but to punish her for speaking to him like that openly in public, but that knowledge did nothing to ease the knot in his chest.

Pulling out his phone, Aric sent a hurried text message before circling the car and getting it, sliding the key into the ignition.

Turning the car on, Aric pulled out of the parking lot, tires screeching as he sped off.

Liberty curled up in her seat, pushing herself as far from him as possible.

Driving towards his home, he thought about Liberty's clothes. He'd meant it when he told her he'd find her something better to wear, but there hadn't been a single thing in the pet store that he had found suitable.

Thinking over the text he'd sent, he knew his orders would be obeyed and everything would be ready by the time they arrived, but would she appreciate his efforts.

Looking over at her as she tried to make herself as small as possible the rope around his heart tightened more.

She was afraid of him again.

"Damn," he cursed, slamming his palm onto the steering wheel before pulling off the road into an abandoned lot.

Putting the car into park, he closed his eyes and rested his forehead against the steering wheel, trying to think of something, anything that would help the situation.

Suddenly, the interior lights came and and he saw Liberty bolt from the car, running into the darkness.

"Fuck," he said, getting out of the car and running after her, the predator in him reveling in the chase.

She managed to get to the edge of the lot before he caught her, knocking her to the ground.

"What in the hell do you think you're doing?" he demanded, pinning her to the ground.

Liberty continued to struggle for freedom, ignoring his question.

"Stop it," he yelled, raising his hand to strike.

Liberty froze, her green eyes shut tight in anticipation of the blow.

Aric lowered his hand, gently caressing her face.

"I said I was sorry," he breathed, trying to ignore the urge to feed from his felled victim. "I don't want to hurt you."

The terror on her face made her absolutely beautiful. Pushing aside the urge to kiss her, he instead got to his feet.

Pulling her up, Aric led her back to the car, his hand clasped on the base of her neck.

Ignoring the dirt that covered her, he pushed her into her seat, flipping the child safety lock on the door before closing it on her.

Letting out a great sigh, he slid behind the wheel and resumed the drive home, trying to figure out where the need to kiss her had even come from.

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